North Ayrshire and Arran MP Patricia Gibson has paid tribute to “trailblazing” Winnie Ewing following her death at the age of 93.

The former SNP MP, an icon of the Scottish independence movement, rose to prominence in 1967 and served as president of the party for nearly 20 years.

The first ever female SNP MP, her breakthrough marked the start of the party’s rise in popularity in Scotland.

Mrs Ewing died on Wednesday surrounded by her family including children Fergus and Annabelle, who are both serving MSPs.

SNP MP Patricia Gibson says the former MP will be sadly missed by people from across the Scottish political spectrum.

She said: “I was very sorry to hear of the death of Winnie Ewing, a trailblazing and iconic figure in the Scottish National Party, the independence movement and Scotland.

“Her win of the Westminster seat of Hamilton in a 1967 by-election catapulted her and is one of the most famous in political history.

“Winnie is the only person to have served in Westminster, the European Parliament as well as the Scottish Parliament.

“She memorably convened the first session of the Scottish Parliament in 1999 with the words: ‘The Scottish Parliament, adjourned on 25th day of March 1707, is hereby reconvened.’

“She will be sadly missed and I am sure all our thoughts are with her family at this sad time.”